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Analysis of Christian Pulisic’s performances in his first season at Chelsea

Christian Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019 for a fee of 58 million pounds. However, he didn’t join up with his new club until last summer. Pulisic enjoyed a fantastic spell at Borussia Dortmund, which led to him being billed as the first potential world-class superstar to hail from Pennsylvania. His brilliant and superb Bundesliga form earned him the big-money move to Chelsea as a top-level replacement for the outgoing Eden Hazard. Pulisic’s big-money move to Chelsea put a lot of weight on his shoulders. Pulisic struggled in his early days at Chelsea, finding himself as a bit-part player in Frank Lampard’s team. Pulisic was relegated to a bench role as Lampard preferred Willian, Pedro, and Hudson-Odoi ahead of him. He didn’t start a Premier League game after the end of August. His game-changing substitute appearances against Newcastle in the Premier League and Ajax in the UEFA Champions league earned him a spot in the Chelsea starting line-up against Burnley. He bagged a hat-trick in that game. His brilliant display against Burnley was the breakthrough moment he needed to showcase his undoubted talent. Pulisic then had an excellent run of form over the next few months. That period saw him score some goals and provided assists for others.

His inclusion on the left side of an attacking front three seemed to suit him, and that was where he showed just what his pace and creativity could bring to the side. Pulisic got injured in training ahead of the FA Cup third-round win against Championship side Nottingham Forest. Pulisic was just returning to fitness when the COVID-19 lockdown suspended the Premier League in March. Since the restart of the Premier League, Pulisic has hit the ground running and has arguably been the most in-form player in the top flight in recent weeks.

 

Pulisic’s impact since the restart of the league

Since the Premier League returned from hiatus, the American attacker Pulisic has been Chelsea’s best player so far. Pulisic has starred since the Premier League’s restart to establish himself as Chelsea’s critical attacking threat, scoring three times and winning two penalties in just six appearances to boost the West London side’s hopes of a top-four finish. Pulisic got off to a flying start on his Chelsea return against relegation-threatened Aston Villa on June 21. Pulisic scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute. He scored a superb solo effort goal against Man City at the Stamford Bridge. Pulisic was a bright spark in their game against Watford. He won the penalty for Chelsea after turning Etienne Capoue inside out just before half time.

His scintillating performance in Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace also drew much praise from fans and pundits. Many feel that the lockdown break helped him to get back to full fitness and also learn how to cope with the physical side of the English game. If Pulisic carries on as he is for the remaining games, he will arguably be the main man in the Chelsea team. In his six appearances since the restart, Pulisic has averaged 2.75 dribbles per game, which puts him behind only Wolves winger Adama Traore and Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin. Pulisic has a real ability to break a line and run forward, which is an excellent trait in the modern game. Pulisic can also break teams down easily with his positioning and decision-making in crucial moments of games.

 

What to expect from Pulisic in the future

Pulisic has done pretty well in his debut season, although he had a rocky start and did not always play initially. He showed character to get into Chelsea’s first team and has performed well. If he can continue his recent impressive form for a full season, Chelsea could have a true global superstar on their hands. The most significant aspect of all this is that he is just beginning to tap into his prodigious talents entirely at a young age. When other great talents like Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech join Pulisic in the Chelsea team for the 2020-21 season, it is going to be a joy to behold. The best is yet to come from Pulisic.

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